Thursday 21st September 2017

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Jacques Maritain Revisited

September 10, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Jacques Maritain Revisited

By DONALD DeMARCO A good philosopher must have a mind that is, to a certain extent, independent. It should be independent from the errors of his predecessors, but certainly not from reality or from reason, which is the means by which one ascertains certain truths about reality. He must also be an original thinker, not in the sense of being novel but in tracing things back to their origins. This combination of independence of mind and originality of thought, so qualified, is quite rare among philosophers. When Jacques Martian came into the world, on November 18, 1882, Europe was teeming with intellectual activity. In Germany, Friedrich Nietzsche was proclaiming the death of God and the advent of the Superman. In…Continue Reading

Is Administration Reneging On Trump’s Religious Freedom Promise?

September 9, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Is Administration Reneging On Trump’s Religious Freedom Promise?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY The political optics were some of President Trump’s best — as he prepared on May 4 to sign an executive order defending freedom of conscience. “With this executive order,” Trump told the crowd in the Rose Garden, “we also make clear that the federal government will never, ever penalize any person for their protected religious beliefs.” He did not say most of the time or almost always. He said “never, ever.” Nor did he say any group or religious order. He said “any person.” This was a categorical promise. Having made it, Trump framed his argument for it by making specific reference to the Little Sisters of the Poor, noting that members of this Catholic order…Continue Reading

Should Japan And South Korea Go Nuclear?

September 8, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Should Japan And South Korea Go Nuclear?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN By setting off a 100-kiloton bomb, after firing a missile over Japan, Kim Jong Un has gotten the world’s attention. What else does he want? Almost surely not war with America. For no matter what damage Kim could visit on U.S. troops and bases in South Korea, Okinawa, and Guam, his country would be destroyed and the regime his grandfather built annihilated. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting,” wrote Sun Tzu. Kim likely has something like this in mind. His nuclear and missile tests have already called the bluff of George W. Bush who, in his “axis of evil” speech, declared that the world’s worst regimes would not be allowed…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Deciphering John Locke On Tolerance

September 7, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on A Book Review… Deciphering John Locke On Tolerance

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Jolley, Nicholas. Toleration and Understanding in Locke. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. x + 175 pp. Cloth, $70.00. This book is an attempt to identify a unifying strain of thought in three works by John Locke that Nicholas Jolley rightly believes an uninformed reader might think were written by three different people. The works are An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1671), Two Treatises on Government (1690), and Epistola de Tolerantia (1689). The third mentioned work may not be as influential as the first two but may be the most important one for understanding Locke’s mature thought on the subject of tolerance. Jolley finds that Locke, unlike Hobbes, is not a systematic philosopher. He reminds the reader that…Continue Reading

Did Demons “Help” God Create The World?

September 6, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Did Demons “Help” God Create The World?

By FR. BRIAN W. HARRISON, OS My old friend Philip Trower recently contributed a very stimulating defense of theistic evolution (“Creation, The CCC, Evolution and Angels,” The Wanderer, July 13, 2017, p. 8B). To his credit, he makes a serious, and I think quite original, attempt to address a serious problem that the vast majority of Jewish and Christian evolutionists either seem blissfully unaware of, or sweep under the carpet. The problem is this: How can our belief in a perfectly good and loving Creator be reconciled with a scenario in which, for scores of millions of years prior to the Fall of our first parents, billions of innocent sentient creatures suffered terror and excruciating pain from lethal predatory attacks…Continue Reading

Seeking The Face Of God

September 5, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Seeking The Face Of God

By JAMES MONTI Our whole lives as Catholics, our daily battles to do God’s will, to sin no more, to fight evil and falsehood, to uphold, defend, and promulgate truth, are all ordered to one supreme destiny — to behold the face of God in Heaven, as promised in the Book of Revelation: “. . . his servants shall worship him; they shall see his face” (Rev. 22:4). The Old Testament is replete with aspirations to see the face of God. Psalm 42 expresses this most eloquently: “As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God….When shall I come and behold the face of God?” (Psalm 42:1-2). This quest is likewise voiced in Psalm…Continue Reading

Confusion Should Not Be A Source Of Pessimism

September 4, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Confusion Should Not Be A Source Of Pessimism

By ALBERTO M. PIEDRA (Editor’s Note: Alberto M. Piedra is the Donald E. Bently Professor of Political Economy, The Institute of Word Politics.) + + + “Man is more himself; man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live” — G.K. Chesterton. + + + Few well-versed people in Church matters would deny the ever-increasing confusion within the Church about her teachings on Holy Matrimony, Holy Communion, and the moral law. His Eminence Raymond…Continue Reading

Joe Scheidler… The Embattled Warrior

September 3, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Joe Scheidler… The Embattled Warrior

By DONALD DeMARCO John Braine, author of Room at the Top, and one of Britain’s most successful novelists, provided a practical guide for aspiring novelists in his 1974 book, Writing a Novel. He advised that every novel should contain at least one highly improbably occurrence. I had never aspired to being a novelist, but was fascinated by this bit of advice. Life itself is much larger than a novel. Therefore, extraordinary coincidences should happen more often than once. I was at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport waiting for my connecting flight. I thought to myself, “Who would I like to meet at this moment among the eight million or so people who reside in greater Chicago?” I had a number of chance…Continue Reading

St. Adamnan Of Iona… Abbot, Author, And Human Rights Pioneer

September 2, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on St. Adamnan Of Iona… Abbot, Author, And Human Rights Pioneer

By RAY CAVANAUGH St. Adamnan of Iona was an abbot and scholar who wrote enduring works of history and hagiography. But his most noble contribution was his AD 697 introduction of the Cain Adomnain, a code of laws that sought to ensure the safety of noncombatants (women, children, elderly, infirm, clerics, and others) in warfare. Remarkably ahead of their time, these laws predate the similarly intentioned Geneva Convention by more than twelve centuries. Adamnan’s feast day is September 23. He is also venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church. Very little is known of Adamnan’s early years other than that he was a native of Ireland’s County Donegal (the town of Raphoe is frequently mentioned) and…Continue Reading

Conscience Vs. State Laws… Culpable And Laudable Disobedience

September 1, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Conscience Vs. State Laws… Culpable And Laudable Disobedience

By ALICE VON HILDEBRAND My Dear Friend: Once again I am going to question your knowledge of ancient Greece. I assume that you have read Antigone — this great work of Sophocles – in which the heroine chooses to contravene the will of the tyrant, Creon (prohibiting the burial of her dead brother). The argument which she defends is that the unwritten laws of the gods should be obeyed for they are immutable and exist from all eternity (Antigone, 458). Creon’s Edict is not Zeus’ and Antigone’s conscience tells her that she can therefore override this purely human and illegitimate ordinance. She must obey the gods rather than man. Creon is outraged and condemns her to death and, as tragedy…Continue Reading